7 in court for drunk driving charges
Alleged offenders appear in Western and Central divisions
Seven people appeared at special court sittings yesterday charged with drunk driving and driving without a licence. One of the seven accused is a Land Transport Authority officer. Two will be sentenced on April 8 after pleading guilty to the various charges.
It is alleged that these accused committed the offence sometime between Thursday and Friday.
NASINU MAGISTRATES COURT
Two men who were arrested on separate occasions for driving under the alcohol of influence will be sentenced by the Nasinu Magistrates Court on April 8. The two accused are fulltime taxi driver Waisake Sukuna Palu, and part time chef and taxi driver Vishnu Raman. Both have been remanded in custoday until their sentencing. Palu of Nasole and Raman of Nasinu Road have pleaded guilty to drinking and driving during the Easter break. Palu pleaded guilty to two counts and Raman pleaded guilty to three counts. They appeared before Magistrate Sufia Hamza yesterday. Palu was charged with drinking and driving and driving a taxi with an expired driving licence. He was stopped by Police on Friday after Police officers noticed that he was driving the taxi in a suspicious manner towards Laqere. He was stopped and the officers noted that Palu smelt of alcohol and had blood-shot eyes. He was arrested and taken to the Nabua Police Station. Raman, on March 24, drove a taxi along Vishnu Deo Road at Nakasi while under the influence of alcohol.
For every 100 milliliters of blood, a concentration of 213.4 milligrams of alcohol was detected on Raman. He is also charged with dangerous driving and being involved in an accident. He also failed to stop and provide the necessary information to the Police. In court Rama claimed he drank alcohol after a 10-year lapse, but Magistrate Hamza reminded him that his previous record showed that he had faced a similar charge not long ago. Palu and Raman will be in remand for 14 days and re-appear for sentencing in the Nasinu Magistrates Court.
SUVA MAGISTRATES COURT
A Land Transport Authority staff who was arrested for allegedly being drunk and driving was granted bail by the Suva Magistrates Court. Asish Anil Jattan appeared before Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne yesterday during a special court sitting. No plea was taken and he is to reappear in court on April 11 for mention. Jattan is charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Senior Police Prosecutor Sergeant Suliano Saunitoga objected to bail saying that Jattan’s actions could be of danger to the community. Mr Somaratne granted bail on three conditions - that Jattan surrender his driving licence, not reoffend, and pay a bail fee of $500. Jattan was represented by Legal Aid officer Yunus Singh but he has been given two weeks to apply for Legal Aid representation.
NADI MAGISTRATES COURT Two men appeared in the Nadi Magistrates Court for drunk driving related charges. Abdul Shahim and Mohammed Inayat Ali appeared separately before Magistrate Chandani Dias.
The first accused, Shahim, 37, a law firm clerk, was charged with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and one count of driving without a valid licence. The court heard that he allegedly committed the offence on Thursday when he was stopped at Naisoso Road in Nadi. He allegedly recorded 118.8ml of alcohol during the breathalyzer test. Shahim told the court that he understood the charges and opted for a private lawyer for his representation. Second accused, Ali, 32, who is a fisherman from Nasoso was charged with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Ali allegedly committed the offence on Friday when stopped at Namaka at around 2am. He allegedy recorded 162.8ml of alcohol when he took a breathalyzer tested. He opted to waive his right to a lawyer. Police prosecutor Sergeant Pranesh Chand objected bail in both cases. Sergeant Chand said Ali had reoffended in the past six months and was disqualified from driving by the Nadi Magistrates Court for the same offence. However, Magistrate Dias released the two on bail with a $1000 surety each.
Ali will be called again on April 8 while Shahim on April 13 at the Nadi court.
LAUTOKA MAGISTRATES COURT Paul Krishna Sami, 27, of Sanasana, Nadi and Mohammed Khan, 54, of Vitogo, Lautoka, appeared yesterday in the Lautoka Magistrates Court. They were each charged with one count of drinking and driving.
Sami is charged with four different counts - drinking and driving, failure to produce driving licence, driving without a licence and driving when not covered under the insurance third party policy. Khan is charged with two counts – drinking and driving and careless driving. Both are on a $1000 bail bond, were warned not to reoffend and not to interfere with state witnesses.
They will re-appear at the Lautoka Magistrates Court on March 29. Edited by Naisa Koroi
Vishnu Raman (left), with Waisake Sukuna Palu at the Nasinu Magistrates Court yesterday.
Land Transport Authority officer Asish
Anil Jattan in court yesterday.
Accused Mohammed Inayat Ali at the
Nadi Magistrates Court yesterday.